Allentown Morning Call, July 19, 2016

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Elvis Costello

John J. Moser

New wave pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to perform at Sands Bethlehem Event Center

Elvis Costello, a pioneering singer who bridged punk and new wave, then conquered mainstream, will play Sands Bethlehem Event Center, it was just announced.

Costello, whose debut album My Aim Is True in 1977 connected the United States with punk rock and the more palatable new wave, and who went on to top the charts with "Veronica" and "The Other Side of Summer" in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, will play the event center with his band The Imposters at 8 p.m. Nov. 23.

Tickets for the show, at $69.50-$89.50, will go on sale 10 a.m. July 22 at, the event center box office,, all Ticketmaster outlets and 800-745-3000.

In 2003, Costello and his band the Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Costello among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

My Aim is True included the iconic songs "Less Than Zero," "Allison" and "Watching the Detectives." The follow-up This Year's Model in 1978 had the songs "Pump It Up" and "Radio Radio," which Costello famously played on Saturday Night Live after being told by the show not to.

Both those albums, as well as 1979's Armed Forces, went gold or platinum, and Armed Forces hit No. 10 on the albums chart. His first three albums also all appeared on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

But it wasn't until 1983's song "Everyday I Write the Book" that Costello cracked the U.S. singles chart. In 1991, "Veronica" went to No. 1, followed by "The Other Side of Summer" in 1991.

The 61-year-old Costello has had two gold albums since: 1985's "The Best of Elvis Costello & The Attractions" and 1989's Spike.

Costello's most recent studio album was 2013's Wise Up Ghost, with Philadelphia hip-hop/soul band The Roots, which hit No. 16 – his third-highest-charting disc ever in the United States, and second-highest in 33 years.

Costello's 1998 collaboration with Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains on The Long Journey Home on the soundtrack of the PBS/Disney mini-series of the same name won him a Grammy Award that year.

His song "The Scarlet Tide" from the movie Cold Mountain in 2003 was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Costello played a sold-out show at Easton's State Theatre in 2013 as part of the first solo tour of his career.

The concert was this blog's No. 5 in the Lehigh Valley that year. The review said Costello, more than any of his contemporaries, has been able to stay popular and vital, and "the punk intensity and sensibilities of his early records shone through much of the material, no matter its genre."

Copyright © 2016, The Morning Call


Allentown Morning Call, July 19, 2016

John J. Moser profiles EC ahead of his concert with The Imposters, Sunday, October 23, 2016, Sands Event Center, Bethlehem, PA.


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